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Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

What does repentance look like?

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I thought about this the other day after putting up the post, NO! I want justice, apologies – and a measure of revenge, which was a response to the call in The Atlantic magazine by a New York professor for “Pandemic Amnesty” for all those people who got it wrong on lockdowns, masks and vaccines.

The act of forgiveness lies at the core of the Roman Catholic church, all that confession stuff with a priest. It’s what differentiated it from every other religion at the time, whether Roman or Jewish. Sins could be forgiven, rather than just being a mark that you carried forever and saw you shunned from society – or worse.

Funnily enough that’s exactly what the Woke cult is all about right now. You make one slip up with that crowd, even if it’s from years earlier when you’re a stupid teenager, and you’re socially dead. No mercy and no forgiveness from them.

But in the RC the act of forgiveness is not some squishy, hippy approach where you just give the evildoer a big hug, tell him it’s okay and send her on her way.

No, the act of forgiveness requires also the act of repentance on the part of the sinner who must review their actions, examine their conscience, feel contrition or regret for the past wrongs committed – and all this with a commitment to improve by vowing not to commit those wrongs again, and following through on that vow.

Of course it’s not perfect. Nothing is. The question is whether the sign above in the Melbourne cafe window falls into that category? I mean it’s nice to see and all, but what are the odds that – knowing what they now know about how they were manipulated and “coerced” – they would not do this again?

Frankly I don’t think the British are in any position to make these criticisms of us and Canada, given that they pulled all the same shit, if not for as long, but that last is not much to hang your argument on.


Written by Tom Hunter

November 11, 2022 at 9:05 am

Sweden was right

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It turns out all the panic mongers were wrong. Lockdowns etc worked worse than the Swedish approach, even without taking into account all the long term damage to life expectancy, educational outcomes, economic prosperity that the authoritarian states incurred.

As of reporting date June 19th 2022, of all the countries analysed by the OECD, Sweden has the lowest overall cumulative excess deaths tally.

And New Zealand took all that pain for long term damage rather than gain.

Written by Whiskey&Pie

November 9, 2022 at 8:03 am

NO! I want justice, apologies – and a measure of revenge

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“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us.” 


What America needs is not pandemic amnesty. It needs accountability. The politicians and leaders who employed the measures that resulted in these tragedies need to face consequences, full stop. We can’t get to forgiveness if there is no accountability and repentance.

But folks like Oster know this is not going to happen. The people she supported in their efforts to use the pandemic to get the state more involved in our lives will never meet justice. Indeed, the only evil people in this equation are people who expressed opinions with which she disagreed. In the end, her piece was nothing more than a pretty way of saying: “It happened. Get over it.”

I also want some solid rules put in place via legislation that will mean our society will never, ever again pull this shit. But that’s probably being too hopeful since the future can only be mildly influenced and in any case I thought we already did have barriers in place via our now-laughable Bill of Rights.

No, I think some measure of punishment in the form of a loss of power and job prospects for the likes of Baker, Wiles and the other “scientific” fanatics who pushed the lockdowns, the masks and the vaccine mandates, will likely have a more powerful effect than rules, for it will instruct future little fanatics that there will be a price to pay personally if they go too far in their fanaticism. That’s what I mean by “revenge”.

Emily Oster is a Brown University economist and supposed “parenting guru”, and she has just written an article in The Atlantic which basically says that all these things were just honest mistakes and anybody else would have messed up. Of course you can see why that’s so appealing to our political class, which went along with almost 100%, especially in NZ, Britain and much of the West. The only real Western pushback came in the USA, and those politicians are now starting to reap the rewards. Regrettably there are others also reaping the rewards who do not deserve to do so.

From what I can see on screenshots of her Twitter timeline she spent the first months of the pandemic being absolutely terrified of the virus until school closures began to hurt her own kids. She then started to come on as a kind of “lockdown moderate”, opposing the worst of the hysteria but also constantly validating the underlying assumptions that made them possible – probably so she could retain relationships with her friends and colleagues.

April 2020, with nothing else to do, my family took an enormous number of hikes. We all wore cloth masks that I had made myself. We had a family hand signal, which the person in the front would use if someone was approaching on the trail and we needed to put on our masks.  Once, when another child got too close to my then-4-year-old son on a bridge, he yelled at her “SOCIAL DISTANCING!”

These precautions were totally misguided. In April 2020, no one got the coronavirus from passing someone else hiking. Outdoor transmission was vanishingly rare. Our cloth masks made out of old bandanas wouldn’t have done anything, anyway. But the thing is: We didn’t know.

Fucking bullshit! We did know.

It’s not like respiratory viruses, the Flu, were unknown. They’d been studied for more than a hundred years and the lessons and instructions on how to deal with them had been written into the Public Healthcare plans of dozens of Western countries, including our own MOH Influenza Pandemic Plan (2nd edition, 2017), and they did not include the concepts of Lockdowns, mask mandates or vaccine mandates.

Rishi Sunak has said the government gave too much power to scientists during Covid lockdowns – and was not honest about the potential downsides.

The Tory leadership contender and former chancellor told the Spectator ministers were banned from talking about the “trade-offs” involved… he said the negative impacts of lockdowns on society were “never part” of internal discussions, adding meetings were “literally me around that table, just fighting”. Ministers were also told not to discuss the potential downsides in interviews, he added.

“The script was not to ever acknowledge them. The script was: ‘Oh there’s no trade-off, because doing this for our health is good for the economy.'”

Rishi Sunak – British Prime Minister

Yeah Rishi. We noticed. I guess nobody in the Tory cabinet saw that graphic above! I was not impressed to see in that Spectator article that former No 10 aide Dominic Cummings said that Sunak was talking “dangerous rubbish” and that the interview “reads like a man whose epicly bad campaign has melted his brain and he’s about to quit politics”.

Obviously Mr Cummings still thinks that such intimidation and name-calling works. It certainly did for the lockdown-mask fanatics for about two years. What assholes they are.

“We” – or at least a fair number of people, including some world-leading epidemiologists (world-leading until Fauci and company went on a sliming mission against them) – knew all this from the start in early 2020. We were not ignorant and we were not hysterical in responding to the Chinese Lung Rot Pandemic. But all that calm, measured, rationality got buried by the propaganda cry of “Let it rip” (a phrase it turns out that Fauci and company crafted in emails behind the scenes to denigrate his far more expert scientific opponents).

Stefan Baral, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins with 350 publications to his name, submitted a critique of lockdowns to more than ten journals and finally gave up—“the first time in my career that I could not get a piece placed anywhere,”

See also:

The Covid-19 Royal Commission

Lockdowns don’t work. What does? (April, 2020)

Visible Death vs. Invisible Death

Lockdowns: a nightmare of imagination

Everything in the Lockdown, nothing outside the Lockdown, nothing against the Lockdown.

New Zealand is more frightened than Britain

Failed solutions, Moral Cruelty and Advertising

“The dark night of…

Double Standards & Changing Narratives

The British Lockdown (May 2020 where opposing opinions were already quashed)

Written by Tom Hunter

November 1, 2022 at 3:37 pm

Storm Surge

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As cameras get better in all ways, from picture sharpness, battery power, and price to… survivability, we’re able to see our world in increasingly different and often very cool ways.

Below is the time lapse footage of one such camera as it captures about twenty four hours of the rise and fall of Hurricane Ian as it hit Florida last month.

It looks like Governor Ron DeSantis had all Florida’s systems really clicking and the state has recovered fast and well from the storm. As a result, and entirely predictably. the National MSM’s coverage of it vanished in just a few days, and dropped away rapidly just two days after the hurricane passed over.

Republican presidents and Governors have learned from what was done to President George H W Bush in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and then his son with Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In the case of the latter it enabled the MSM to start talking about the Iraq War (which they had not been able to use against Bush in the 2004 election) – without actually talking about the Iraq War. In other words they could talk about the “failures and incompetence” of the Bush Administration re Katrina, while also constantly implying and hinting that the same was happening in Iraq. Then candidate Obama also used it, though in a deeper and more nasty ideological fashion.

It’s why whenever a disaster happens now on the watch of a President or Governor, it’s called The Katrina Effect. Looks like it didn’t work against deSantis.

The before and after shots.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 30, 2022 at 7:41 am

Posted in Science, Technology, USA

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The chilling effect of China authoritarianism

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Why we will never be sure Covid was a lab leak.

Scientists seeming to care more about the professional opportunities presented by collaboration with China than with truth.

We should not forget US pharma not wanting to admit the Covid vaccine was needed for them to make money rather than effective but out of patent and safe treatments like Remdesevir.

Written by Whiskey&Pie

October 14, 2022 at 8:52 am

Posted in China, Science, USA

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Creating Lunar

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A strangely mesmerising video – courtesy of Robert Zimmerman’s blog Behind The Black – that is a supercomputer’s simulation of how our Moon (Lunar) was created by a Mars-size object smashing into the Earth during the early days of the Solar System’s formation.

Like all such things it’s purely speculative and it is too far in the past to be anything but speculation. We will never really know.

But scientists have steadily settled on this theory, among competing options like capture, ever since the Apollo missions showed how similar Lunar and Earth are chemically.

The simulation simply allows the theory to be explored in various ways and it is complex enough with known science like fluid dynamics to allow such model explorations to be acceptable science in the sense of showing how the theory could work – and how it could not, i.e. if the model had the Mars-like object hitting Earth dead centre.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 14, 2022 at 7:44 am

Posted in Science, Space

Tagged with , ,

Science and Ideologues

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For those who don’t think that they can align perfectly and turn into control freakdom, I present to you the Pink Horror of the Great Chinese Snot Pandemic

Feeling the love yet Siouxsie? Will another bout of TV spots in another pandemic make you feel better, you attention-seeking, panic-spreading British Fauci? Any chance you’ll be drastically reducing your carbon footprint by staying off planes and cars? Our Planet is crying for you to eat less, Siouxsie.

Let me be clear: Wayne Brown is 80 76 years old ((H/T commentator “Harry”) and shows similar cognitive problems to that of Biden, though no where near as bad. I suspect that he’ll be as useless as he was when Far North Mayor back in the late 2000’s – while hoping against hope that he isn’t. And of course even if he was a dynamo he’d still only be one voice on the Council – and then there’s the City Administrative State, which is actually the group that runs things in the city.

But it’s still nice to see it made public how much a bunch of control freaks these Pandemic Experts always were in their tiny souls. She’s just gagging to seamlessly shift from C-19 Crisis to Climate Crisis – and with the same basic Socialist solution of controlling almost every aspect of our lives.

Still, in Wayne Brown’s favour there is this.

As with most of government the firings and resignations need to go at least three more levels of management down.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 9, 2022 at 1:27 pm

Plant-based foods

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I can’t even.

I’ll let this guy say it for me regarding plant-based foods (see The Metaphysics of Plant-based Bacon)

Just one fun fact from the link:

4. Bacon is 86 percent cheaper than it was 100 years ago.

Fortunately I think this will be bust:

Today we are looking at the plant-based meat category. Spoiler alert: I find the plant-based meat category bland and uninspiring. And honestly, I think we can reasonably lay plant-based meat mania to rest in peace in the history books, right alongside 1990’s emu farming mania in the US.

Leaving only mockery in its wake. A Nightmare on Bowen Street

That was later the theme for a nightmare from which I woke in a cold sweat, dazed and confused, similar to the feeling when opening an ACC bill.

I was seemingly attending a function in Wellington entitled ‘the NZ Showcase of Incompetency’. Our fearless leader was to be keynote speaker, however her fiance had just tested positive to something and she was also in a Zoom call with Sri Lanka’s regulators on “how to destroy your farming sector and democracy within a 12-month timeframe”.

The dress code was a moko and cowboy hat or socks and sandals – with the theme for the night “A Smorgasbord of Socialism”. The canapés were an unpalatable mix of plant-based righteousness and laboratory-created confusion, the drinks trolley empty apart from “an optional selection of Three Waters” which upon entry we were all lined up and forced to consume.

Read the whole thing.

Also read, Are Vegetarians Twice as Depressed as Meat Eaters?:

To investigate the relationship between a meatless diet and depression among adults, a team of Brazil-based researchers gathered data from more than 14,000 people between the ages of 35 and 74 over a six-month period. They evaluated participants using the Clinical Interview Schedule-Revised instrument, a questionnaire that helps diagnose common mental disorders like depression and anxiety. “Depressive episodes are more prevalent in individuals who do not eat meat,” the authors concluded.

That chimes with my personal experience. Very dour people who don’t see much good in the world, although that may also be due to the 100% correlation with being Warmists and roughly 90% with being Leftists.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 7, 2022 at 1:01 pm

The 4.4 mile shot

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There have been some incredible long-range sniper records set over the years in Afghanistan, often by Canadian teams. Distances of two or three miles are not unknown in the thin air and barren countryside that makes such shooting a little easier than in sea level rainforests.

But you don’t hear much about such things in the civilian world, so this news from the Cowboy State of Wyoming is interesting, At 4.4 Miles, Wyoming Team Sets New Rifle Shot World Record:

From the pull of the trigger, roughly 24 seconds elapsed before forward spotters heard the telltale plunk of a 422-grain copper bullet piercing the thin metal target.

The shooter was 4.4 miles away, a distance so great, the Earth’s rotation came into play.

It was a new world record for a rifle shot, set by the Jackson-based Nomad Rifleman team led by Schott Austin and Shepard Humphries. The shot was made with a custom-built rifle chambered for the .416 Barrett cartridge.

I’m not surprised to hear that they used a Barrett cartridge since that entire system was designed for very long range shooting.

What was surprising was that the rifle was a home-made job, with parts from all over the world:

“The muzzle brake came from New Zealand,” he said. “The barrel came from South Dakota and then went to Arkansas for structuring.”

Other components came from Canada and elsewhere, and the rifle was assembled by S&S Sporting goods in Driggs, Idaho.

I wonder if the maker of the muzzle brake will be talking about that in public here – or not!

You can read about the science of the shot at the link, including a video, but it should be noted that it took 69 attempts and that such a shot – which is more like calculating artillery fire – is “not statistically repeatable”.

Well sure, but if you’re on the receiving end of such a shot how confident are you about a 1 in 69 chance? People play Lotto for much longer odds.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 24, 2022 at 8:50 am

Bang not Big?

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Right now I find myself lying awake at three in the morning and wondering if everything I’ve done is wrong.” – Alison Kirkpatrick, astronomer, University of Kansas

Good. That’s real science, not the 100% certainty we often see delivered across TV screens by scientists who, like their journalist partners, have decided on a narrative first.

In this case the problem is a conflict between the theory of the Big Bang describing how the universe started, and the latest data and images coming from the new James Webb Space Telescope (JWST):

Why do the JWST’s images inspire panic among cosmologists? And what theory’s predictions are they contradicting? The papers don’t actually say. The truth that these papers don’t report is that the hypothesis that the JWST’s images are blatantly and repeatedly contradicting is the Big Bang Hypothesis that the universe began 14 billion years ago in an incredibly hot, dense state and has been expanding ever since. Since that hypothesis has been defended for decades as unquestionable truth by the vast majority of cosmological theorists, the new data is causing these theorists to panic

If the universe has been expanding since it started with the Big Bang 14 billion years ago, the galaxies that are the farthest away from us should have a large amount of Redshift in the frequency of their light that we see. The Redshift is the light equivalent of the Doppler sound effect you hear from car horns passing you and moving off into the distance, the notes dropping as they do so with the sound waves being stretched out by the car’s movement (Blue Shift would mean the light source is approaching you, the light waves getting compressed by the movement of the source).

The ultimate example of this, something held to prove the Big Bang, was that the electromagnetic burst from it would have been stretched out so much over billions of years by the expansion of the universe that it would effectively be radio waves – and that was exactly what was discovered in the 1960’s by Radio Astronomers, who thought that the background “noise” (Cosmic Microwave Background) they were picking up from every part of the sky was actually a problem with their electronics. It took a while but eventually they realised they were hearing the faint, “cold”, whisps of the original electromagnetic blast. It fit the theory perfectly.

This red shift should also apply to objects like stars and galaxies that we can see from the early formation of the universe, and over the decades that has been what we’ve seen from multiple telescopes, including the Hubble.

But what Webb is showing us is almost exactly the opposite as it looks back in time ever closer to the Big Bang.

And there are more problems:

The most distant galaxies Webb has located are being seen when they were as little as 400 million years old, as determined by when the big bang is assumed to have happened. That means their stars should all still be hot and blue in color [once adjusted for Redshift] as all young stars are. But many of them are cooler and reddish in color, signifying that they should be at least a billion years old.

No wonder Mr Kirkpatrick is lying awake at 3am. He’s likely not the only astronomer and cosmologist doing so. But it’s the same for the scientists and engineers running the Webb telescope. Have they screwed something up? Were their calibrations against known objects not done properly?

By coincidence I was re-reading Arthur C Clarke’s great, early 70’s, SF novel, Rendezvous with Rama, the other day and was amused by this scene:

He spoke eloquently on the follies of asteroid-chasing, and the urgent need for a new high-resolution interferometer on the Moon to prove the newly revived Big Bang Theory of creation, once and for all. That was a grave tactical error, because the three most ardent supporters of the Modified Steady State Theory were also members of the Council. They secretly agreed with Professor Davidson that asteroid-chasing was a waste of money; nevertheless…

He lost by one vote.

Maybe the JWST should stick to looking at things closer to home:

Written by Tom Hunter

August 23, 2022 at 11:54 am

Posted in Science, Space

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